Monday, November 8, 2010

Book Review: Wake by Lisa McMann

Title: Wake
Author: Lisa McMann
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: January 2009
Length: 210 pages
Genre: YA, fantasy

2/5 ** Wake, a novel keeping you up all night? Rather a sleepyhead! 

~ The Author ~

Lisa McMann lives and writes in the Phoenix area. Her first book, WAKE, is a New York Times bestselling paranormal novel for teens. It's also a YALSA BBYA nominee and Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant YA Readers, an ABC New Voices Pick for Spring 2008, and a Borders Original Voices Nominee. Positively reviewed by SLJ, PW, Kirkus, and many more.

Author profile by Goodreads

For further information visit 

Or check out her blog

~ The Novel ~

Wake is the first novel in the Dream Catcher series and was released in 2008. Fade was released in February 2009 and followed by Gone, the final instalment, in February 2010.

~ The Story ~

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can't tell anybody about what she does -- they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....

Summary by Goodreads 

~ The Review ~

“What did you dream about last night?” “Ohhhhh, I was in this very cool...”…many morning conversations start like this. Wake is about dreams, a daily and popular topic. The idea of a girl who has the ability to witness other people’s dreams is creative and I expected the dreams to turn out as little appealing adventures that wouldn’t let me sleep and dream myself. In the end I was disappointed to experience plain dreams being retold or co-dreamed instead.

Interesting about Wake is that Janie feels a strange connection to a fellow student. This love story kept me going through the whole book, because love stories always tend to tantalize me and make me like the novel and characters even more. Janie and that special boy spend some time together and there are a few serious talking scenes, but there are also many rash actions and lack of character strength.

Janie seems to be a character with some potential to touch the reader, she’s got a troubled family background and a gift or curse that doesn’t let her find sleep night after night. Unfortunately I couldn’t connect to and care for her, she was just there. Wake is told from an omniscient narrator, which I think is the possible reason for my lack of connection. In addition the writing style is clipped and simple, whichI find not very captivating.

A further negative aspect is Wake’s number of pages, but this is just my opinion. I think Wake, Fade and Gone should have been published as one novel to create a more coherent and attractive book.

Positive aspects about Wake are a few touching moments and some very important and intelligent motives that stand behind the overall storyline.

~ We love this book because… ~

1) sleep is overestimated
2) dreams can be as unexpected and diverse as life itself
3) we love to follow detailed time spans
4) of the connection of fiction and real, problematic family backgrounds
5) we would like to have our own personal dream catcher

~ The Verdict ~

If you are interested in reading about Janie’s special talent and the strange power that connects her to this particular boy you should pick Wake up. Still be careful, some dreams are not destined to be interrupted. Sleepy- thrilling? You decide!


  1. I didn't enjoy this book that much either. Great idea but not so great book!

  2. Aww, too bad you didn't like it. I actually really liked it. Great, honest review :)

  3. I wasn't so crazy about this book when it came out. The narration seem to have failed but in my mind I'd rather enjoy this as a movie anyway. (Inception was an amazing movie by the way)

    Oh and I've awarded you with the LIFE IS GOOD AWARD, so yea here's that:

  4. I've been recommended this series. I bet if more and more people vouch for a bind-up, the publishers may listen. ;) Thanks for your honest opinions!

  5. Sorry to hear it was a disappointing read. It does sound original but I do agree that connecting with the main character is a must. My friend enjoyed this book but I never got into it. Thanks for letting me know I'm not missing out.

  6. Wake was really short, but thankfully I started the series after the last book was published, so I was able to read all three books back-to-back. I agree though: it would be a good idea if they published the trilogy as one novel. Still, I liked Wake (not so much Gone). Nice review. :)

  7. Sorry to hear you didnt like it that much.
    When I first heard about this book, I immediately decided that I would read it in the near future. I havent had a chance yet but I still wanna read it - dreaming is a fascinating topic and Id love another angle on them. Hopefully Ill like it more than you. x) You are a really great reviewer, by the way!

  8. I've just finnished that book and I quite like it but I didn't have any expectation